It cannot be news to any regular boat or shore angler that multi-tip rods are becoming ever more common. Here Des Westmore tests a top of the range multi-tip boat rod from tackle industry giants, Daiwa.
Daiwa boast high quality team of consultants and advisors who have assisted in the production of some of the best sea fishing tackle available. Standout items like the original Team Daiwa up-tiders and SLOSH reels immediately come to mind among others. Their Japanese rod designers usually find a way to blend a rod’s power from tip to butt seamlessly, while Daiwa’s build quality is generally superb and the vast majority of their rods are ‘made in Britain’, which is something of a rarity in these days of Far Eastern product saturation. What would their designers and expert consultants come up with for the multi-tip market one wondered? The answer is STATB28 All-Tider, to give it its catalogue listing, and my job was to put it through its fishing paces for Planet Sea Fishing Digital Magazine.
The All-Tider is part of the ‘Saltist® Advanced Rod Collection’ a range that, incidentally, includes another multi-tip rod. Daiwa’s All Tider is quite different from a bog standard boat rod. The idea being that the tips and overall working length can quickly be adjusted to cope with a whole spectrum of different depths, tidal conditionals and indeed fish species. Daiwa’s claim that the All-Tider is ‘Capable of subduing virtually all that swims’, at least in UK sense, is a bold one.
Now to stave off any confusion, enquiries quickly established that the rod length information on the Daiwa website is wrong, and what follows is the actual length specification. The Daiwa web-catalogue accurately described the rod as coming with two different push-in glass tips, plus a third specialist match fishing tip. In addition there is a 12-inch parallel intermediate blank section that takes the overall rod length from 8 foot 6 inches to the standard 9′ 6” uptide rod length in an instant.
My mental picture off the All Tider before it was delivered was along the lines of something in the 12-20lb and 20-30lb class in the shorter format, and perhaps a 4-8oz uptider or ultra tippy match rod at its maximum extension, depending on which tip was installed. In the flesh this prediction wasn’t right on the mark however…
At a glance
Three premium quality E-Glass tips are supplied: all are black and have seven Fuji Aluminium Oxide single leg rings fitted, plus a tip ring. All tips are 20″ long and have plain black whippings except for the final two rings and tip guide which have colour coded whippings to differentiate them. Red whipping indicates the stiffest standard tip, yellow identifies the mid-range tip, with white for what Daiwa designate the match angling tip, which is the lightest and thinnest of the three.
The middle section is 45″ in length and has five three-legged Aluminium Oxide rings. The largest of these was severely crushed in transit but the liner stayed intact, testimony to how tough the rings are, which is always a good trait. This section is the longest of all of them and means that the rod packs down to a very convenient length for transport. Whippings are again plain black apart from the bottom two rings which are tipped with silver and straddle the Saltist logo.
Finally the butt section is 41″ long, with a genuine Fuji reel seat, extra-long EVA foregrip, and a shortened grip behind the reel seat. There is no grip installed at the very bottom of the handle meeting the butt cap which is common practice on many competitor companies’ rods. Daiwa state that the reel position has been lowered to improve leverage, and while it is marginally lower than a dedicated up-tider, it was not as low as I prefer, but this is a purely personal observation and opinions will always differ. My preference would be to have the reel seat positioned similarly to the Daiwa Tournament Global Rod that the PSF review team has also been putting through its paces.
To my mind, rods of this type and class would do well to fit a movable reel seat. This keeps everyone happy and is actually cheaper to make. However, it would be fair to suggest that the perfect movable reel fitting for use on sea fishing rods is yet to be invented, and all of the various currently available fittings are no more than serviceable.
The 12″ extension is plain black with silver tipped whipping at either end. No rings are fitted in order for it to be removed or inserted without the complication of having to strip the line back through an inconsiderately sited guide. The overall build quality and finish is good. High build epoxy is not dolloped over and around guides to the extent that blank action suffers, as is the case with some rods; particularly those tarted up by custom rod builders.
Length and tip configurations
In use, the rod has a supple yet lively feel reminiscent of the Team Daiwa rods, especially the latest TD-X series. I wouldn’t say it could fish throughout the whole tide in the waters that I fish, but the tides around the Isle of Wight are strong and this observation may not apply where you live and fish. In its 8′ 6″ configuration, using the two standard tips, the All-Tider could be loosely compared to standard 6-12lb and 12-20lb rods. At 9′ 6″ with the extension fitted, I would tend to use it with the heaviest tip as an uptide style rod, or with the match tip as an ultra-sensitive ‘nibble tip’ or competition rod that still has possesses the necessary back bone to deal with something decent if it happens to take your bait.
In this final ‘long’ configuration, the rod also feels very nice with a fixed spool reel. Indeed, rings are sized so that either multiplier or fixed spool can be used. On the subject of rings, the single legged ones fitted to the glass tips have an inside diameter of 8mm. By using a small clip, such as a Breakaway Spin Clip, to attach your rig you can easily change tips without having to cut your line. Many multi-tip rods have very small rings, meaning it is often too much hassle to change tips so you just soldier on with the one you have fitted.
Probably the most important information for people interested in this and other similar rod is how much lead will the blank comfortably support in its various guises? In the downtide sense the lightest white tip will support 10ozs but is far more comfortable loaded with up to 8ozs. The yellow tip is similarly comfortable but handles a couple of ounces more when called upon to do so. The red tip will support 12ozs in comfort, but live with 1lb at its maximum load parameter, although bite detection will suffer in relation to the weight loading at this end of the scale. Utilising the same ‘red’ tip as the standard uptide tip, 6ozs of lead and a meaty bait can be cast with ease.
All testers who used or handled the rod commented on the quality of build and that the rod felt lovely in the hands. Opinion on the reel seat positioning was a 50/50 split between too high and just right. Most commented however, that the 12″ removable section needed to be at least 18″ in length, so as to change the characteristics of the rod completely…if indeed this was the aim. I must say I have to agree on that point, but I also accept that a longer intermediate section without an additional guide would throw the ring spacing out of working kilter.
Speaking personally, I would have a lower reel seat and I would probably use it in 8′ 6″ configuration with all the tips, only adding the extension if I needed to cast away from the boat. Other testers would disagree with me so the best thing you can do is get along to your local dealer and check it out for yourself. This is an extremely versatile, superbly finished rod and it is this versatility that has lead to so many differing opinions during testing.
Best price found at publication: £114.99 Alderney Angling